Every year, people across the United States eagerly seek out the latest in new home designs and decorating ideas, hoping for inspiration or simple enjoyment. When it comes to finding both, there is perhaps no better place than Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas. Called the Super Bowl of home building, this event includes the International Builders’ Show, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, and three smaller expositions, making it the perfect place to gauge upcoming trends. Held in mid-January, this year’s Design Construction Week drew as many as 125,000 people interested in what the future of housing could bring.
But while many people were interested in appliances and finishes, others were more concerned with the fiscal health of the industry as a whole. Mary Umberger of the Chicago Tribune reported that a number of home remodeling companies present at the events had modest expectations for 2015, while the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) officially predicted that the improving job market and growing consumer confidence levels would increase the number of single-family homes. Interestingly, a number of contractors Umberger spoke to expected the most from two unlikely groups: baby boomers and millennials. While past reports have indicated that baby boomers were already settled and the under-40 group preferred to live in urban centers, experts say a number of both are spending their money on new homes and remodeling projects.
And with these new consumers come new design ideas. One of the most visible examples is the use of bright colors, particularly in kitchens. Umberger noted that orange was especially popular, popping up as an accent or coloring an entire countertop or appliance. This bright tone is believed to help liven up the gray shades that have become popular over the last several years.
At times, public opinion clashed with professional statements, especially when it came to materials. While polls still show that granite countertops are a standard choice for homeowners, for example, at least one designer Umberger spoke to claimed that quartz was the stone of the future. Meanwhile, designers say that plastic laminates are becoming increasingly popular in Europe, which suggests we could soon see them stateside.
“We at McGregor Homes have found that white carerra marble has been an increasingly popular choice in bathroom counter tops, lending itself well to the spa-like feel home owners want to achieve in their personal bathrooms,” says Kelsey McGregor of McGregor Homes.
Design and Construction Week was founded by NAHBA and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). This year’s exhibitions included a combined 3,750 vendors and an estimated 4.7 million square feet of showcases. Attendees paid anywhere from $75 to $150 to participate in the events.